TrueElk is all about connection.... yourself, to the words on the page, to your surroundings and to other people. We believe in bringing intimate groups of people together in nature to reconnect with themselves and be restored through the power of creativity and environment.


"Sarah brings an elegant attention to details. Her planning and execution of True Elk events matches the grace with which she meets people in the moment. I've rarely met someone who has the genius of foresight to both vision and prepare for retreats, offering people a haven for their genuine selves to emerge."

Sonya Lea, Writer & Writing Mentor


Sarah Packford

Founder & Director


I came to Canada from London in December of 2016 with little notion of what it meant to live in a small Canadian town in the middle of winter.  I soon acclimatised to minus thirty days, hat hair, wandering Elk and quickly fell in love with the Mountains. 

Having attended many writing workshops around the world including Greece, America and England I instantly felt a pull to bring others to these mountains.  

Growing up in a family hotel (Packfords Hotel) provided me with a lot of experience in organising & hosting events. TrueElk is the perfect combination of my passion for writing, my love of the Canadian Rocky mountains and my years of hospitality experience.  It has taken me back to my roots and is allowing me to do what I do best which is to create unforgettable experiences for people in a place that I've come to call home. 

Writing Workshop History

The Nuts & Bolts of The Novel with Audrey Niffenegger, London, UK, 2013

Yale Writer’s Conference, New Haven, US, 2013

Your Journey is Your Story led by Cheryl Strayed, Patmos, Greece, 2015

The Writer’s Camp, Esalen Retreat Centre, Big Sur, US, 2016

Writer’s Guild of Alberta Winter Retreat, Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada, 2018

Fall led by Lydia Yuknavitch, Corporeal Writing, Portland, US, 2018

Liminal Writing with Sonya Lea, Corporeal Writing Online, April 2020


  • BA Philosophy, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

  • Masters in Creative Writing, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

  • Public Relations & Communications Management Certificate, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada 

For more information on what it is like to work with me, please see the testimonials page here.